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Barrick Gold cuts top execs' 2017 pay over Acacia, Veladero 'setbacks'

Barrick Gold Corp. cut the compensation of Executive Chairman John Thornton and President Kelvin Dushnisky in 2017.

"For 2017, the Compensation Committee gave Barrick's management leaders a collective grade of 40 out of 100, as measured against our long-term scorecard," J.B. Harvey, lead director and committee chair said in a statement included in the company's annual financial report released March 23.

Thornton received an incentive of about US$4.3 million in 2017, down 18% from a year earlier. The chairman's total compensation dropped 9.4% year over year to US$7.7 million.

Meanwhile, Barrick's compensation committee reduced Dushnisky's annual incentive to US$693,090 from about US$1.4 million in 2016. His total compensation saw a 19% decline to US$4.2 million.

Barrick said the pay cuts were due in part to "setbacks" experienced by its Acacia Mining Plc unit in Tanzania under an export ban, as well as a cyanide spill at its Veladero mine in Argentina, which was the third environmental incident at the project in 18 months. The reduction also aims "to better align total compensation with the shareholder experience in 2017."

Toronto-based Barrick Gold, the world's largest gold mining company, booked a net loss of US$314 million in the fourth quarter of 2017, compared to a year-ago profit of US$425 million. Full-year net earnings, meanwhile, rose year over year to US$1.44 billion from US$655 million.